It's "All Jams on Deck" for Blues Fans on New DVD
All Jams on Deck, the new 96-minute documentary by famed music filmmaker Robert Mugge is now available on DVD for the enjoyment of blues fans everywhere. Produced by Mugge and his partner Diana Zelman, executive produced by CEO Roger Naber of Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, LLC, and shot/recorded entirely on Naber's October 2010 Blues Cruise to the Mexican Riviera, this Mug-Shot Production is the first film ever to focus on the art form of blues jamming. It also happens to be nominated for Best DVD in the Blues Foundation's 2012 Blues Music Awards competition, with the winner to be announced at the 33rd Blues Music Awards ceremony in Memphis on May 10th.
All Jams on Deck was premiered on the October 2010 and January 2011 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruises and is now being made available to blues fans and musicians everywhere. Aside from a shipping and handling fee of $5.95, DVD copies can be acquired free of charge by ordering from the Blues Cruise website. In addition, a 12-minute and 36-second trailer for the film can be viewed along with the DVD package design and liner notes at the Mug-Shot Productions website.
Featured in All Jams On Deck are dynamic performances by such major blues artists as Tommy Castro, Elvin Bishop, Marcia Ball, Johnny and Edgar Winter, Kim Wilson, Lee Oskar, Commander Cody, Coco Montoya, Lowrider Band, Larry McCray, Rick Estrin, Jimmy Thackery, Sista Monica Parker, John Nemeth, Steve Berlin, Vasti Jackson, Leon Blue, Rev. Billy C. Wirtz, Eden Brent, Mike Schermer and many more. Also included are discussions of the history, techniques and etiquette of blues jamming featuring the artists themselves, as well as SiriusXM Radio's Bluesville Program Director Bill Wax and blues and jazz historian and producer Bob Porter.
Early reviews of the new DVD have been glowing. “Originally available as a souvenir for voyagers on the legendary Blues Cruises, All Jams on Deck is becoming known as a film all blues lovers in general should enjoy. It's also a primer for blues performers looking for tips from the pros... Every musician should see this film at least once. Odds are, you'll want to go on a Blues Cruise yourself to enjoy what hot licks sound like after-hours." - Wesley Britton, Blog Critics and Seattle Post Intelligencer
"All Jams on Deck...offers some terrific highlights from the after-hours jams that take place on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruises. It is actually also a nice primer for performers to learn from the professionals how to run jams... Quite a lot of fun..."- Gregory Johnson, President, Cascade Blues Association
"I have had the pleasure to watch Robert Mugge's All Jams on Deck, a documentation of late night jams on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise... This is a film that anyone who loves contemporary blues would enjoy...a great documentary."- Bman's Blues Report
Many of the performances in the film were captured during the after-hours "pro jams" that take place nightly on the ship's aft Pool Deck, each of them overseen by a different major artist or band. Among the songs recorded during those jams are "A Good Fool Is Hard To Find" and "I Feel That Old Feeling Coming On" led by Tommy Castro; "I Woke Up Screaming," led by Marcia Ball; "Last Dirty Deal," led by Coco Montoya, "Kim's Jam" and "Take A Little Walk With Me," led by Kim Wilson; and "Lowrider Jam," led by the Lowrider Band. Jams captured in other show settings include Elvin Bishop and John Nemeth leading a performance of Bishop's classic "Fooled Around And Fell In Love;" Elvin Bishop sitting in with Johnny and Edgar Winter on "Johnny's Jam;" Vasti Jackson sitting in with Coco Montoya for Jackson's "Hurricane Season;" Vasti Jackson and Laith Al-Saadi demonstrating blues guitar techniques; Kim Wilson and Lee Oskar demonstrating blues harp techniques; Commander Cody and Rev. Billy C. Wirtz demonstrating blues piano techniques; and a stageful of top keyboard players from Leon Blue and Steve Willis to Eden Brent and Kelley Hunt performing ensemble versions of "Honky Tonk Train" and "Boogaloo's Boogie."
All Jams on Deck is director Robert Mugge's second blues DVD release of 2012. The first was Big Shoes: Walking and Talking the Blues, his 90-minute portrait of Ted Drozdowski's blues band, Scissormen, now available from VizzTone as a combination DVD and soundtrack CD. All Jams on Deck is also the second film produced by Mugge and Diana Zelman with Roger Naber serving as executive producer. The first film the three made together was Deep Sea Blues, a 118-minute portrait of the January 2007 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise to the Caribbean which is available on DVD from Micro Werks.
In the words of the The Hollywood Reporter, "Filmmaker Robert Mugge has...established himself as the cinema's foremost music documentarian." Over the past three-and-a-half decades, he has made dozens of music-related films and TV series, including such acclaimed documentaries as Gospel According to Al Green, Deep Blues, Pride and Joy: The Story of Alligator Records, Hellhounds On My Trail: The Afterlife of Robert Johnson, Last of the Mississippi Jukes, Gather At The River: A Bluegrass Celebration, Black Wax (with Gil Scott-Heron), Blues Divas (with Morgan Freeman), and The Kingdom of Zydeco (with Beau Jocque and Boozoo Chavis). In 2005, just after Hurricane Katrina, Mugge collaborated with Diana Zelman on New Orleans Music In Exile for Starz Entertainment Group, and the two have been working together ever since.
Mugge currently serves as the Endowed Chair Professor of Telecommunications at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Four of his graduate and undergraduate production students (Joseph Vella, Andrew Bissonnette, Derek Cox and Derek Hall) served as primary crew members for the production. Mugge edited the film in Muncie and supervised post-production at The Dive in Philadelphia. In addition, Steve Savage served as music mixer in San Francisco and George Hunt created the commemorative painting incorporated into the DVD menus and package designed by Scott Burnett at the LRBC offices in Kansas City.
Executive producer Roger Naber is a blues music industry visionary, a former Kansas City club owner, a blues deejay, and a charter cruise pioneer whose first Blues Cruise sailed in 1992. His January 2012 Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise to the Caribbean was his 25th music cruise, with many yet to come. In October of 2012, he is launching a new Southeastern Caribbean Blues Cruise departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico with one of his best artist lineups ever.
In the words of Robert Mugge, "I made my 1986 film Saxophone Colossus because I wanted to know more about jazz improvisation and so chose to work with Sonny Rollins, the greatest living jazz improviser. More recently, Roger Naber proposed that Diana and I produce a film about the late-night pro jams that are the highlight of his twice-yearly Blues Cruises, and I saw this as an opportunity to make a film about jamming and improvising among top blues artists. The result of this collaboration, All Jams on Deck, serves not only as the record Roger wanted of some of his late-night pro jams, but also as the film I envisioned about all aspects of blues jamming. In the end, everyone is happy, especially blues fans and musicians around the world: the musicians because they now have an effective primer for jamming with their peers; and the fans because we're giving away DVDs of this exciting film for free. At a time when the music business and the home video business are both coming apart at the seams, we have devised a new business model to get the film out to everyone we know will enjoy it. And that crazy business model is just to give it away via the Blues Cruise website. Nothing will make us happier than if every blues fan on the planet goes to www.bluescruise.com and requests a copy of his or her own!"